Fwd: [New post] The growth of non-marital childbearing, including the growth of childbearing within a cohabiting union is associated with more family instability for children: a UK study claims

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From: Intentional-Relationship.com Blog <comment-reply@wordpress.com>
Date: Tue, Feb 28, 2017 at 5:34 PM
Subject: [New post] The growth of non-marital childbearing, including the growth of childbearing within a cohabiting union is associated with more family instability for children: a UK study claims
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intentional-relationship.com posted: "In recent decades, much of the globe has witnessed a retreat from marriage. This means more children are being born outside of marriage, either to single parents or cohabiting couples, in countries around the world. This social change raises a few questio"
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New post on Intentional-Relationship.com Blog

The growth of non-marital childbearing, including the growth of childbearing within a cohabiting union is associated with more family instability for children: a UK study claims

by intentional-relationship.com

In recent decades, much of the globe has witnessed a retreat from marriage. This means more children are being born outside of marriage, either to single parents or cohabiting couples, in countries around the world. This social change raises a few questions:

  1. Are such children less likely to enjoy stable family lives?
  2. Is the growth of non-marital childbearing, including the growth of childbearing within a cohabiting union, associated with more family instability for children? 
  3. Are there financial disadvantages impacting children born outside of marriage?

To answer question 2, the Cohabitation-go-round study provides fresh evidence that cohabitation is less likely to deliver such family stability to children, compared to marriage and as the American expert on family and marriage Professor Brad Wilcox said: “We know that children thrive on stable routines with stable caregivers.

Similar comparisons can be made to Australian families because family instability is associated with a host of negative outcomes for children.

While in Australia the rates of living together without marrying are increasing, cohabitation is nevertheless the normative pathway to marriage. While it remains the case that the vast majority of couples in a living-together union are married to each other, cohabitation without marriage appears to have increased by one to three percentage points across each Census year since 1971, reaching 16% in 2011.

Prior to 1997, there was a substantial increase in the proportion of families with children that were headed by a lone parent (father or mother). These proportions were:

  • 12% in 1980
  • 15% in 1990
  • 20% in 1997 and
  • 21% in 2008.

Given the increase in cohabitation rates, changes have also occurred in the marital status of parents. For example, while most lone parents living with dependent children have been married previously, lone parents today are less likely than in the past to have ever been married.

About one in five lone parents living with dependent children in 1986 was never married, compared with around one in three in 2006.

The increase in the proportion of lone parents who have never married does not mean that these parents became lone parents when their children were born. Many of today's lone parents have separated from a de facto relationship.

For example, recent research in Australia reveals that part of the disadvantage associated with being born to a single mother may be the heighted risk of subsequent union transitions faced by children of single mothers... and union transitions appear to present children with more challenges than merely being reared by a lone parent.

If comparisons can be made to the UK study, and that children are more likely to flounder in unstable families, the spike in children born outside of marriage eludes to the fact that children from cohabiting relationships are more likely to experience parental separation than those living with married parents.

There is also a growing consensus that the number of parental union transitions matters for children above and beyond family structure,  with children being more likely to thrive in stable families and more likely to flounder in unstable ones.


  • DeRose, L. Lyons-Amos, M.; Wilcox, W.B.; and Huarcaya, G. 2017: The Cohabitation-go-round: Cohabitation and Family Stability Across the Globe, Social Trends Institute, World Family Map 2017.
  • Families then and now: 1980-2010: Alan Hayes, Ruth Weston, Lixia Qu and Matthew Gray
  • Weston, R., & Qu, L. (2013). Working out relationships (Australian Family Trends No. 3). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

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Fwd: info on conference in Fort Worth this Sat for you to pass along

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From: Bill Coffin <billcoffin68@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 1:10 PM
Subject: Fwd: info on conference in Fort Worth this Sat for you to pass along
To: patfitz20@hotmail.com

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Thanks Alysse 

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Fwd: National Marriage Week - Ethics & Religion Col.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Michael McManus <mike@marriagesavers.org>
Date: Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 12:42 AM
Subject: National Marriage Week - Ethics & Religion Col. #1,851
To: Bill Coffin <BillCoffin68@gmail.com>

Ethics & Religion

A Column by Mike McManus


February 16, 2017

Column #1,851

National Marriage Week

By Mike McManus


            It is National Marriage Week, a good time to assess the health of marriage in America.   “The institution of marriage represents the very foundation of human social order,” writes Dr. James Dobson. “Everything of value sits on that base. Institutions, government, religious fervor and the welfare of children are all dependent on its stability.”


            When Gallup asked couples to grade their marriages, 68% gave it an A and 23%, a B. Only 6% gave it a C and 1% each, a D or F.  By contrast, 64% of cohabiting couples who were preparing for marriage, ranked their relationship in the “low satisfaction group.”


            Nor do unhappy marriages stay that way: 86% of bad marriages become good ones!


            However, divorced men are twice as likely as married men to die from the four big killers: heart disease, stroke, hypertension and cancer.  My wife and I report in our book, Living Together: Myths, Risks & Answers, “Auto accidents and suicide death rates for the divorced are almost four times higher; cirrhosis of the liver and pneumonia death rates are seven times higher; the rate of death from murder is eight times greater.”


            Not surprisingly, therefore, being unmarried chops nearly ten years off a man’s life. Married women will live four years longer, and their children, five years longer.


            “Loneliness is a lethal force with the power to break the human heart,” writes James J. Lynch in A Cry Unheard. A married couple cares for each other. For example, a wife watches their diet and objects if her husband pours a second drink.  But when one of them dies, the will to live is extinguished for many.


            Married couples are far wealthier.  Those who never marry experience a 75% reduction in wealth. Married men earn 10% to 40% more than single men with similar education and job history. Why? Married men have a greater work commitment, lower quit rates, healthier and more stable routines.


            According to The Case For Marriage by Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher, “On the verge of retirement, the typical married couple had accumulated about $410,000 compared to $167,000 for the never-married, $154,000 for the divorced, and under $96,000 for the separated.”


            We write, “Marrying offers balance. Spouses are invested in each other and in the well-being of their joint future. He proposes to buy a new car; she says, `That’s a waste of our money. Let’s remodel the screen porch and turn it into a sunroom.’ Result: the investment increases the value of their home.  The single guy buys the car or vacations in Cancun and by retirement can claim fewer assets.”


            Married people also have more and better sex than singles.  TV shows like Sex and the City give the impression the happiest people are those who jump in bed with someone new every Friday night.  But the National Sex Survey reports 43% of married men had sex at least twice a week – compared to only 26% of single men.


Married people also enjoy their sex more, both physically and emotionally than their unmarried counterparts. Married women are almost twice as likely as divorced and never-married women to have a sex life that (a) exists and (b) is extremely emotionally satisfying.


What about cohabiters? While cohabiting couples have at least as much sex as the married, they don’t seem to enjoy it quite as much. For men, having a wife beats shacking up by a wide margin: 48% of husbands say sex with their wife is extremely satisfying emotionally compared to just 37% of cohabiting men.


Therefore, I have a tough question.  Why were there more marriages in 1970 (2,159,000) than in 2015 (2,077,000)?  The population grew from 203 million to 319 million.  If the same percentage of couples were marrying now, there would be 1.3 million more marriages per year!


First, I blame America’s churches for not making a better case for marriage. Four in ten people attend church weekly – giving clergy huge access. Yet, in my 70+ years of attending church, I can remember only one sermon, a recent one - that held up Christian marriage. 


Second, two-thirds of young couples think they should test the relationship by living together.  There were 8.3 million couples cohabiting in 2015, but only 1.3 million of them married.  The rest mostly break up over time. And women who cohabit are 33% more likely to divorce than those who remained apart till marriage.


Churches should insist that cohabiting couples move apart for months before the wedding – to increase their odds of success.


Sadly, few do so.

Copyright © 2017 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. To see past columns, go to www.ethicsandreligion.com.  Hit Search for any topic.







Mike McManus is President of Marriage Savers

and a syndicated columnist, writing Ethics & Religion weekly


9311 Harrington Dr.

Potomac, MD 20854




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Thanks Alysee. Enjoy your trip!

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